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Best things to do in Carcassonne

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Where in the world: Europe  /  France  /  Occitanie  /  Aude  /  Carcassonne

Top 15 things to do in Carcassonne

1. Cité de Carcassonne, Carcassonne Center

Cité de Carcassonne, a fully restored, fortified French town dates back more than 2,000 years. This site is widely considered one of the best examples of a well-preserved medieval city with heavy fortifications. A classic fortress on a high peak features architectural influences from the Romans, fifth-century Visigoths, and later occupants. You can explore two rings of fortified walls with battlements, conical towers, bridges, stone streets, and medieval buildings. A famous Gothic cathedral with carved stone columns and stained glass windows crowns the city.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Cité de Carcassonne:

3. O'Vineyards, Villemoustaussou

A scenic, family-owned vineyard, O'Vineyards aims to combine new-world techniques and tasting practices with old-world refinement and character. The local grape-growing area allows for a balance between Atlantic and Mediterranean influences for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. You can arrange for guided tours and tastings.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Cite de l'espace, Toulouse

A theme park focused on space and our conquests in it, Cite de l'espace is an immensely popular museum filled with interactive exhibits for the whole family. Children and space enthusiasts enjoy the full-scale models, including the 55 m (180 ft) Ariane 5 rocket, the Mir space station, and the Soyuz modules. A control room mock-up allows you to prepare a rocket for launch, assisting with its flight plan and then placing a satellite into orbit. Be sure to visit the Australia building, with its 300-seat IMAX cinema and a 280-seat planetarium equipped with a hemispherical 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft) screen.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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5. Room Escape Games, Toulouse

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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7. Le Capitole, Toulouse

Some of the interior of Le Capitole can be traced to the 16th century, but the current Neoclassical façade dates back to 1750. Made of pink marble and 135 m (443 ft) long, it boasts eight columns that represent the original eight capitals of the 16th century. In 1873, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc built the bell tower on top of the donjon or inner tower, in the typical northern French style. Only the Henri IV courtyard and gate survive from the original medieval buildings. Today the building houses the city hall, as well as an opera company and a symphony orchestra.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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8. Domaine Pierre Cros, Badens

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Reserve Africaine de Sigean, Sigean

A large wildlife park, Reserve Africaine de Sigean features more than 3,800 animals from more than 160 species, including at least 2,000 birds, 900 mammals, and 900 reptiles. The park also features a rich assortment of plant life in its hills, plains, marshes, pine forests, and ponds. The reserve specializes in the conservation of large African animals, including antelopes, giraffes, horses, an elephant, and a white rhino. Conservation efforts here have led to more than 10,000 births since 1974, including chimpanzees, wild dogs, African elephants, cheetahs, pelicans, and zebras.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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10. Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile, Albi

Allegedly the largest brick building in the world, Cathedrale Sainte-Cecile features many oversized structures, including a vault that boasts the largest painted surface in the world at 200 sq m (656 sq ft). These frescoes make up the largest and oldest ensemble of Italian Renaissance paintings in France. Added in 1492 CE, the bell tower stands 78 m (256 ft) tall. The nave is the widest Gothic example in France at 18 m (60 ft). Over 200 magnificent polychrome statues carved by artists from Cluny's workshops decorate the interior with their original colors.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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12. Room Escape Games, Montpellier

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Musee De L'ecole, Carcassonne Center

Take a trip back the classroom at Musee De L'ecole. This small center explores 19th-century France's education system through information displays and historical artifacts in a preserved classroom setting. Examine informative posters and classroom equipment as you compare today's educational establishments with those of yore. Don't miss the opportunity to sit at an old-fashioned desk and practice your handwriting thanks to a quill and inkwell. Those unpracticed in the art of calligraphy may want to avoid wearing white.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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14. Poterie De La Bascule, Montolieu

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Porte Narbonnaise, Carcassonne Center

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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